Tucson’s widely acclaimed jewel of a chamber music festival gets underway Sunday, and we can list a dozen reasons to Sunday why you shouldn’t miss it. But we’ll stick to a few by-the-numbers reasons.


commissioned works to be premiered: Schuller’s String Quartet on March 21 and Bodorova’s Sonata for Piano on March 23. The Friends are celebrated around the country for their audience-supported commissioning program, which has produced more than 50 new works since 1995.


dress rehearsals, where you can catch the artists in street clothes working out the fine details of the concert performances. They are from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, March 21 and March 23 at the Leo Rich Theatre.


renowned artists, including flamenco-classical guitarist Pepe Romero, the Miro Quartet and longtime festival friends pianists Bernadene Blaha and Kevin Fitz-Gerald.


works to be performed throughout the festival, not including those being performed at the March 22 Arizona Inn gala dinner and concert or the youth concert next Thursday.


composers represented, including two commissioned by the Friends: American Gunther Schuller and Czech Sylvie Bodorova.  Both will be on hand at the festival.

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.